My name is Kelsey Minten and I graduated from CSB/SJU in 2012 with a degree in Sociology and Hispanic Studies. I am currently serving as a Teaching English for Livelihoods Trainer in the Peace Corps in Barranquilla, Colombia. My job has a few different parts. I co-plan and co-teach English classes in a local secondary school with a Colombian counterpart, with the goal of bettering the teachers' and students' English level and introducing new communicative teaching methodologies into the classroom. I also teach English classes or conversation groups to English teachers who want to work on their speaking skills. Finally, I work on youth development projects, with the goal of youth empowerment and building life-skills.
My Peace Corps site is urban and unlike the small village that you may imagine when you picture the Peace Corps. However, the population that I work with is quite disadvantaged financially and struggle with many issues that come along with urban poverty. English can be a route for these students to get jobs or get in to college. It is challenging but rewarding work! I have loved every day so far! I use my sociology background everyday- it is so useful in learning and understanding a new culture! It also has helped me to better understand and better serve my students.